I was zip, zip, zipping through Ocean Beach on my little, black and silver, 150-cc Lance Milan putt-putt motor scooter when I pulled alongside a real biker, dressed in full-blown biker-gang-guy regalia, leaning on his obnoxiously loud Harley waiting for the light to turn green.
Simultaneously, we glanced at each other. I nodded hello, and he—get this—laughed in my face. He looked at me, looked downward at my bike—made a quick assessment about the level of my manhood (which he identified as a Level-7 Pussy)—looked back at me, and laughed, out loud, real nasty-like, right into my innocent face. Then he turned away in disgust, as if a glob of birds shit had landed on my head and was dripping down my cheek.
It wasn’t a big deal, really. I know the score. Harley riders deplore scooter riders the way stand-up comedians deplore mimes. And pretty much everyone else older than 12 thinks scooters are a joke, too. Well everyone older than 12 can suck on my skid marks! My ride is a beast. It goes zero to 60 in—well, actually, it doesn’t ever get to 60. But it can do 35, no problem. Only takes a few minutes to get there. Then it’s zip-zip, putt-putt all over the place!
Seriously, though, for me—a scooter makes crazy-good sense: For one reason, it’s a huge money saver. The gas, insurance, registration—even the cost of the vehicle itself— combined, is only a little more expensive than renting a couple of Pauly Shore impersonators for a party. Second, I work from home, which means no long freeway commutes. And, lastly, I live at the beach, where parking is scarce and the traffic is fierce, making a scooter an ideal vehicle because: a scooter parks anywhere; a scooter effortlessly darts in and out of alleys and backstreets; and a scooter splits the lane to get to the front of the line at traffic lights—which is exactly what I was doing when I came upon the biker.
Now, for the record, I didn’t nod to him as though I thought we were badass biker brethren of the road—as if we had something in common the way, say, a Corvette owner would nod at another Vette owner, or the way black men in Alpine nod on the oft chance they cross paths. No. I nodded to him because we were standing right next to each other, looking at each other. It was a human-to-human nod for crissake, not biker-to-biker. I would never consider my little 150-cc, Lance Milan, zip-zip, putt-putt motor scooter to be in his hog’s league. However, I’m also not going to feel inferior because my chosen mode of transportation doesn’t meet the approval of a man who cuts off the arms of a leather jacket with a hacksaw and thinks that’s punk rock. (more…)